AUSTRALIA: Sports Star Dumped By Sponsor After Homophobic Tweet
Australian three-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Stephanie Rice has been dumped by Jaguar after tweeting "Suck on that, faggots!" in reference to a Wallabies rugby match against South Africa.
Jaguar Australia's marketing and public affairs manager Mark Eedle confirmed that the company's sponsorship of the swimmer has been terminated. "We made a decision yesterday, and we've terminated the agreement with her," Eedle said. It's not known whether the Jaguar agreement involved any financial payment, but Rice will be without a car after the company confirmed it will be confiscating the A$100,000-plus Jaguar XF that Rice had been in possession of since the sponsorship deal was penned in February. "We will be taking the car that she's been using back," said Eedle.Rice has apologized for the tweet. Openly gay fellow Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham say he forgives Rice, writing yesterday on his Facebook page: "I know a lot of ppl are upset by what Steph Rice said. I agree, it was offensive & very thoughtless, but being friends with her for 2yrs, I know she is not homophobic. She meant no malice, & she has apologized for her careless comment posted in the excitement of the moment. That’s enough for me to forgive a friend."